Christmas is right around the corner and as a mom you’re probably keeping a running tally of gifts and cost in your mind all day. How much can we spend this year? What is it that the kids REALLY want? How much can I put on the credit card without going overboard? These are all great questions and below, I’ve provided five tips for saving money for the holidays.
Money Saving Tips for the Holidays:
1. Decorate efficiently – LED Christmas lights are much more efficient than regular bulbs. Not only will energy efficient lighting reduce your electric bill, they will also last longer than normal bulbs and can be reused.
2. Decorate an artificial tree – I love the smell of a live Christmas tree. But to save money, I’ll gladly replace that scent with a candle and purchase an artificial tree that I can use more than once. The money saved can then be reallocated to gifts for the kids; something I’m fairly certain they’d prefer.
3. Don’t buy, make instead – Growing up, my grandmother made these little chocolate coconut balls that she wrapped and gave to her neighbors and acquaintances during the holidays. This was a great way for her to save money on gifts for everyone, and it was still a great gesture to let them know that she wished them a merry holiday. There are so many DIY gifts you can give from baked goods to homemade bath salts.
4. Take a vacation – Instead of celebrating a traditional Christmas, every year my aunt hauls her three children off to some place warm for the holiday. The catch? One gift each and nothing more. This requires more budgeting prowess so as not to overspend on a vacation what you would’ve spent during a regular Christmas. At the end of the day, the kids will enjoy this fun alternative to a more traditional holiday.
5. Budget, budget, budget – Right around Halloween or so, I begin making a list of the things I need to buy for Christmas, get the approximate prices, and save. I find it’s easier to set a price per person; $150 for Jimmy, $150 for Lisa, etc. Then I put away every cent so as to stay as far away from my credit cards as possible. In the event that I do dip into my Visa, I pick the one with the lowest interest rate and use it sparingly. In these trying economic times, we are all looking for ways to make a dollar go as far as possible.
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By paying attention to little things like decorating efficiently, families can make those dollars go far enough to give the kids a very happy holiday indeed. What are your favorite money saving tips for the holidays?